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New concept for Union Station Neighborhood presented to public

By Ryan Aston - | Feb 29, 2024

Ryan Aston, Standard-Examiner

A new concept for the Union Station Neighborhood is presented during a public gathering Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.

OGDEN — After months of work and multiple rounds of community feedback, the future of Union Station and the area that surrounds it is becoming clearer.

A new concept for the Union Station Neighborhood was presented to the public during the project’s fourth community conversation Wednesday night. And while Robb Berg, president of Design Workshop, stressed that nothing is finalized, the effort has moved from the initial assessment phase to master planning.

Berg touched on plans for the entire 30-acre area; however, the focus of Wednesday’s presentation was the approximately 8 acres surrounding and including the station itself, an area he referred to as “Ogden’s cultural campus.”

The importance of Union Station’s museums and historical artifacts was emphasized in the new concept, which has all museum components being housed collectively in an approximately 115,000-square-foot facility to the south of the station.

“What was determined through a lot of conversations with all of you, the comments we received on the plan, was that the most logical place for the museum was on the south side of Union Station,” Berg said.

Image supplied, Ogden City

A conceptual map showing one possible layout of buildings and uses for the Union Station Neighborhood development project in Ogden.

Bridging the gap between the museum facility and the Union Station building in the new concept is an expanded train hall, which is envisioned as a glassy structure that can be illuminated during nighttime hours.

Transportation (in its various forms) is a key conceptual aspect of the project. With that in mind, it was revealed that a number of bus- and train-related work sessions with the Utah Transit Authority have occurred recently.

In the latest version of the plans, an elevated track system for UTA’s FrontRunner would allow for travelers to disembark into either Union Station’s Grand Hall or the expanded train hall. Meanwhile, the elevated track leaves open the possibility of Amtrak service occupying the lower level.

Said Berg: “Rest assured, everything we are doing in our concept plan and as we move forward in our master plan will not preclude that from happening.”

Pedestrian transport and walkability also was discussed; to that end, it was suggested that the portion of Wall Avenue that borders the area would shift from being an auto-dominated roadway to one that’s pedestrian-prioritized.

Image supplied, Ogden City

A conceptual drawing showing the plaza in front of Union Station in Ogden as part of development plans presented Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024.

As it stands, one must traverse a 72-foot distance to cross Wall’s auto traffic lanes; Berg and his team would like to cut that number in half.

“That’s going to take some really creative thought and some negotiation with (the Utah Department of Transportation),” he said. “Again, all of this stuff is going to be substantiated with a traffic study, which is just about ready to be kicked off here in the near term. The goal, really, though, is to reduce that crossing distance and increase pedestrian safety.”

There’s also a desire to create greater connectivity between the cultural campus and downtown Ogden’s other features: i.e., Historic 25th Street, Electric Alley, 24th Street, et al.

The new concept also includes residential space and a hotel on the north side of the property, an event pavilion, public spaces between the various structures, a fountain feature that converts to ice skating during wintertime, multiple parking structures, integration with the Ogden Express bus rapid transit system, commercial space on the south side and more.

Although the project is entering the master planning stage, Berg reiterated that the public will still have opportunities to provide feedback.

Image supplied, Ogden City

A conceptual drawing showing tiered transportation services as part of the Union Station Neighborhood development in Ogden.

“There are going to be so many opportunities for people to communicate their opinions and concerns and whatever about the plan along the way,” he said.


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